Monday, May 7, 2012
Dozier won't be savior of Twins offensive woes
Dozier performed well for the Twins in spring training and he could have easily made the club's Opening Day roster. He had yet to play a game at Triple-A so it did make sense for him to at least get a taste of Rochester before he got his call-up. Unlike players like Joe Benson and Chris Parmelee who each spent all of last year at Double-A before their call-up, Dozier spent part of the 2011 season playing in Fort Myers before he got called up to New Britain. He still had a great season and Ron Gardenhire has been keeping a close eye on the young infielder since last year.
When the Twins sent Dozier down to Rochester at the end of spring training, it seemed like he would have a chip on his shoulder and this can lead to go performances on the field. He would start the season trying to prove to the front office that they made a mistake by leaving him in the minor leagues. As I wrote about at the beginning of April, Dozier got off to a hot start and he had a batting average of over .400 with decent power numbers as well. His performance was hard to ignore for fans and for the front office with the middle infield not exactly hitting the cover off of the ball.
Dozier's numbers have cooled down significantly as the season has progressed but this still didn't deter the Twins from calling him up to get his first taste of the big leagues. He leaves Rochester hitting .276/.339/.371 with eight extra-base hits. During his last eight games, he has been on base in every contest and he raised his batting numbers during this time. Since the beginning of May, he is hitting .286/.385/.333 with a double and four walks. With the way the Twins offense has been struggling, any boost of energy seems like it could help improve their offensive firepower.
The Twins were terrible on their West coast road trip and there were some historically bad numbers to back up just how bad they were in their six games on the road. Dozier is being brought in to help the team try and turn things around but he shouldn't be looked at as the savior of the Twins offensive woes. Some players struggle as they try to adjust to their first taste of the big leagues. During last September, Joe Benson found his first handful of games with the Twins to have its fair share of challenges. There are going to be lessons to learn for him as a major league player and the Twins are going to give him every opportunity to succeed as the starting shortstop for the club.
There is a lot wrong with the Twins offense at this point in the year and inserting Dozier into the line-up is not going to fix how bad the rest of the team has been in recent games. According to Elias, the Twins have tied the record for fewest hits for a major-league team over a five-game span during baseball's modern era. The 14 hits for the Twins in the last five games have been tough to watch but Ryan Doumit looked good with a couple of home runs on Sunday afternoon. If the team is going to be competitive again this year, the rest of the club is going to have to fix their swings.
With a team struggling as much as the Twins, it is great to give Dozier a chance to prove he belongs in the major leagues but the debut of Dozier should be taken in stride. He could get off to a great start and the rest of the Twins could still be struggling at the plate. On the other hand, he could struggle and the team could find a way to fix their offensive funk. It is always fun to see what young players can do and all of Twins Territory hopes that Dozier can take the opportunity and run with it.